Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Barbara Fox

Second Advisor

Kira Hall

Third Advisor

Andy Cowell

Abstract

This paper looks at how improvisational actors use multi-modal contextualization cues to create rich and detailed imagined spaces with only the barest of built, material context. Using conversation analytic and ethnomethodological methodologies this paper examines three professional long-form improvisational performances. Beyond speech actors use bodily and visual cues, vocal quality and prosody. These cues become resources for actors to construct the imagined material context, character categories, character relationships and re-contextualize or edit the ongoing action of the overall performance.

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